How Did That Happen?
“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus” - Acts 13:3-4
I’ve often wondered what it must have been like for Paul and Barnabas when they set off on that first missionary journey. The prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit, mentioned twice in the space of 3 verses, was the guiding hand. But what level of planning and strategy went into their travels? And how did that mature as events took shape? We get glimpses of Paul’s thinking as we read on in Acts and also in the Epistles, but much remains conjecture.
In today’s goal-oriented western world we’re encouraged to leave little to chance. Indeed following the release of Life|Explored I’ve spent many months fine tuning the strategy for our ministry over the next five years or so with plans committed to paper and objectives laid out.
With a presence in at least 100 countries now we’d like to be near 150 by 2021. And although it’s very difficult to know exactly how many use our materials now, a figure of at least 750,000 people annually worldwide seems a reasonable target.
But like many of you I sat through our Supporters Evening and listened to our various presentations. And the thing that struck me time and again was how many of the significant events in our ministry “just happened” in a way no man or woman could have anticipated or arranged.
So thank you so much to all of you for your partnership in the work. We’ve only come this far because of your support. And as we embark on the next stage of the journey please pray that our plans and actions would be guided by the Holy Spirit - being thought through and structured as they should be - but always open to God’s intervention and capacity to surprise.
We're excited to announce that Christianity Explored is now being used in over 100 countries
around the world. Luke, a missionary in the Ivory Coast, is using our informal French translation with his youth group. He recently went through it with twenty young men in correlation with a basketball programme.
We continue to give thanks to God for the many people from around the world who are meeting Jesus in Mark's gospel in their own language. #translations
Questions About Jesus? [#OnlineAccess]
We’re always looking for ways to reach more people with the best news about Jesus Christ. We've partnered with Bible Mesh and have created Christianity Explored Online
. We're thrilled to share that we're offering this online course for free
9 Years in East Africa [article + video]
For the past 9 years, Christianity Explored Ministries has had a gospel impact in East Africa. It's likely that around a million people so far have used Christianity Explored as a tool to look at Jesus in Mark's gospel. We marvel at what the Lord has done and is doing, and for the solid foundation upon which we may continue to build.
Craig Dyer shares
how this gospel partnership began. It is the amazing story of God at work behind the scenes bringing together gospel-hearted people for his kingdom work.
Something More in Leeds & Bristol
At the start of every year, Christian Unions across the UK
host a missions week where students are invited to explore the big questions about life. Following on from these events, Bristol and Leeds CUs decided to offer Life|Explored. Nate Morgan Locke, one of the presenters of Life|Explored, spoke at Bristol University this month.
"It's been amazing to see so many University students using Life|Explored as a follow-up to their Events Weeks. Their commitment to reaching out to their friends is a fantastic example to the rest of us, and the fact that they want to use the Life|Explored materials confirms that story is a powerful tool in evangelism."
Katherine, Publicity Secretary of Leeds University Union Christian Union reports
on their missions week and shares how Life|Explored is allowing students to continue conversations about the Christian faith.
How do You Picture God? [Capturing God]
Imagine being offered one photograph that captured the essence of God—an image that revealed everything you need to know about everything that matters. And imagine if this picture of God would shock you… shake you… and change you forever.
In his new book Capturing God
, Rico Tice takes readers to the cross in all its shock, inviting them to see God as they have never seen him before. Readers will see that the God captured in Luke’s gospel is a God of integrity, welcome, justice and peace.
Available from The Good Book Company
) (USA & Canada
From Darkness to Light [#bestnews]
My name is Alireza. I am 18 years old. I was born in Tehran, Iran.
I come from a Muslim background. When I was in school in Tehran, I studied religion and it was mainly focused on Islam. I came to England when I was 16 and since then I have been under the care of social services. I was trying to live a normal life, avoiding the normal difficulties such as language problems, cultural differences, not having many friends to support me, and having depression and anxiety in the new world. Then one day I met one of my friends who is called Martin at the bus stop and I talked to Martin a little about my life in the UK and Martin talked about Christ and Christianity briefly. After that I was curious to find out about what Martin had talked about and I did some research and read the Bible and other information on the Internet. Then after a few months, I phoned Martin and asked him if he could take me to his church.
I was coming to church for a while when the pastor asked me to have a one-to-one Bible study with him. During the Christianity Explored study, I came to believe in Christ and trust in him, believing that Jesus came to save me from my sinful life, died for my sins and is risen again and by trusting in Jesus I have new chance. As it is written, "I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the Father but through me.” Since I have been in Christian community, I have experienced a lot of good things: how everyone cares for each other, respects one another, and the friendship between everyone.
North America Conference [#connectingthegospel]
For our friends in the US and Canada, we'd love for you to join us March 24-26, 2017
for our North America Conference in Oregon, featuring Rico Tice. The theme of the conference will be centred around ways we can better connect the gospel with people in today's culture.
More details and registration information are available online
Book by Book [DVD]
Book by Book
is a unique and affordable DVD-based Bible study resource that makes studying whole books of the Bible accessible. Over 10 sessions, Rico Tice joins Paul Blackham and Richard Bewes as they explore the person of Jesus in the book of Mark. This is a helpful resource for becoming more familiar with Mark's gospel. Biblical Frameworks are pleased to offer Christianity Explored users a special 25% discount
on this DVD/study guide set. This offer is available until the 15th April 2017.
Available from Biblical Frameworks
) (USA & Canada
Making it Happen
On 9th February, we were warmed by the gathering of many of the faithful supporters of Christianity Explored Ministries. It was a wonderful encouragement to share how God is working in so many ways we couldn’t have planned for: from a mission hospital in Uganda, to exciting reports of Life Explored and reaching into places hostile to the gospel.
, Supporter Liaison recently joined the Christianity Explored Ministries team in 2016. She is responsible for networking with individuals and churches who are interested in supporting the global gospel work we do. Stacey, originally from South Africa, lives in London with her family. If you are interested in chatting with her about becoming a financial partner, she'd love to hear